Politics

‘There’s Nothing We Can Do To Stop Them’: Dark Money Groups Copy Trump’s Brand To Siphon Off Fundraising

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Groups with no affiliation to President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign are siphoning off funds from Trump supporters under the impression that the groups are using donations to support the president.

An examination by Politico found that dark money groups, pro-Trump PACs, and Facebook advertisers copy Trump’s brand to dupe Trump supporters into donating to them. But the groups spend very little of these funds to actually support Trump, Politico reports.

The groups use Trump’s voice in robocalls asking for “an emergency contribution to the campaign” and use POTUS’ Twitter avatar on Facebook pages. (RELATED: Republicans Head Into Election Year With Seven Times The Cash Democrats Have, FEC Filings Show)

About 20 groups with names like “Latinos for the President” and “MAGA Coalition,” groups that are structured as PACs or political nonprofits, brought in $46.7 million between January 2017 and June 2019, Politico reports. The publication adds that most of the money comes from donors who give $200 or less.

FORT WAYNE, IN - NOVEMBER 05: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun at the County War Memorial Coliseum November 5, 2018 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Braun is facing first-term Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) in tomorrow's midterm election. Trump is campaigning nationwide in an effort to bolster GOP prospects. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

(Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Trump officials worry that the hundreds of unofficial pro-Trump boosters are sucking up funds that would otherwise contribute to Trump’s 2020 campaign. They also confuse the Trump campaign’s messaging to the public and make it harder to accumulate donors, Trump allies told Politico.

“There’s nothing we can do to stop them,” said America First spokeswoman Kelly Sadler to Politico. America First is the only super PAC authorized by Trump, Politico reports. “This is a problem for the campaign, as well as us, as well as for the RNC.”

Trump’s campaign condemned the groups, saying that they confuse voters. (RELATED: ‘I’m White As Well!’ Bernie Sanders Yells When Debate Moderator Points Out He’s An Old Man)

“President Trump’s campaign condemns any organization that deceptively uses the President’s name, likeness, trademarks, or branding and confuses voters,” the Trump campaign said in a statement to Politico. “There is no excuse for any group, including ones run by people who claim to be part of our ‘coalition,’ to suggest they directly support President Trump’s reelection or any other candidates. We encourage the appropriate authorities to investigate all alleged scam groups for potential illegal activities.”

The Trump campaign has also sent letters to the Federal Election Commission and made public statements demanding that all of these groups cease operating except America First.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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